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Re: Stretching Vellum

Vellum has always been and will always be very hygroscopic, ie it will
absorb and release moisture. The result of absorbing it is that the skin
will stretch out, ie cockle. When the humidity drops it will shrink and
likewise result in cockling. On a book cover this manifests itself in covers
either pulling upwards or slightly inward.

Stretching the vellum over a hoop or something else and stapling it down so
that it drys under tension is very similar to the process by which it was
originally made. Once you take it off that hoop... It starts all over. For
calligraphy which you wish to frame, I would suggest floating it in a deep
mat to allow the material to move. It can be secured either with Japanese
paper hinges or with pieces of thread which are adhered to the back side of
the vellum with adhesive. PVA works well. Take a hole punch and punch lots
of holes using archival paper (why not if we want to be sound). Take those
little round dots and use those to hold the thread in place on the vellum.
Attach the other end to the backside of the mat. If held this way with some
room to move, ie not squishing the vellum against the glass, you won't have
to worry about it sticking to the glass. It will NEVER remain perfectly flat
though. Even if you tension it like a drum head, if it more humid than it
was when you put it down, it will stretch and cockle.


>>>>>The tavern will compare favorably with the church, H.D. Thoreau<<<<<

Peter D. Verheyen                                       <wk> 315.443.9937
Conservation Librarian                                  <fax>315.443.9510
Syracuse University Library               <email>pdverhey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Syracuse University                    <www>http://web.syr.edu/~pdverhey/
Syracuse, NY 13244                <Listowner>Book_Arts-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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